As we sit with our families across this great country of ours today at our Thanksgiving meal, I read our newspaper headlines of violence from city to city and across the world. I wonder when we as human beings will ever tire of hurting or shedding the blood of each other. I wonder when our value to each other will be worth more than dirt under our feet, or the coins in the bank, or the guns in the storeroom, or the crown on the throne. When will playing King of the Hill not be worth all the loss we have caused ourselves.
Some of us have lost hope in the present and now have obsessively taken the apocalyptic out of context approach to life. The focus on the belief of the ushering in of the inevitable end days or destruction of civilization that permeates most religious, prophetic traditions has become a mantra for many fringe violent groups. It has also become a crutch for many mainstream believers. In fact you find that in some, they have taken the task of rushing the “ushering in.”
In an age of weapons of mass destruction, this way of thinking is dangerous. In the past, we have seen the end days hysteria cycle in and out with every century. We have seen how fanatics, with their eye set on the afterlife, do not care what destruction they cause in this life- even if it means ending their life in the process. In fact, they think it an honor.
In less extreme cases, such thinking also leads to inaction on current issues, in that many simply believe that since the end is coming why bother to try to change things. It also encourages exclusivity or “It’s my Way or no Way” kind of thinking. These groups will want to push their agenda beyond the religious realm and into evey fabric of social and government operations at gunpoint.
The violence that we cause on each other may not always be in the name of God , in fact, even that is an excuse. The ultimate answer is to change ourselves first. We must turn our selfishness to selflessness. We must turn our greed to charity. We must turn our hate to love.
Ultimately, we do all need each other on this great planet. We can all be Kings of the Hill.